Tour D – Tunnel and Bunker Dresdener Straße

An underground experience at the border

The extent to which political, economic and social changes can leave their mark on a major city can be seen not least underground. Berlin's public transport planning is a prime example of this: the imperial era, the Great Depression, National Socialism and the Second World War, the Cold War and division, and finally reunification have had a lasting impact on transport planning and routing.

On the former subway line D, today's U8, this eventful history can be traced on an exciting journey through time, from the planning to the construction, the effects of the Second World War, the time as a "ghost line" in divided Berlin to the current situation with numerous traces. Underneath Dresdener Straße is a preliminary construction work, an approximately 450 meter long tunnel and station shell from the imperial era and the 1920s. During the National Socialist era, a bunker was built into the structure and other parts of the tunnel were converted into an air raid shelter. The traces are still clearly visible. On February 3, 1945, when the city was attacked by around 950 bombers, the surrounding area was reduced to rubble and ashes and almost the entire Luisenstadt was destroyed by the subsequent firestorm. While there were thousands of deaths in the surrounding area, all those seeking shelter in the bunker itself survived.

In 1961, the Wall was built into the bunker, as part of the facility was located under Kreuzberg in West Berlin and the other part under East Berlin. This underground section of the Wall has been preserved, as have the remains of the border security installations. There were several successful and failed escape attempts through the adjacent subway tunnel, which are also discussed on the tour. Unfortunately, the "Oranienplatz ghost station" in the Kreuzberg area of the complex was filled in with liquid earth in 2015 for structural reasons. However, the bunker and tunnel were placed under a preservation order in November 2022.

Since January 2023, the bunker and tunnel has been prepared by the association for guided tours and is to be gradually developed into a memorial site.


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